Sermon Transcript – Herod’s Evil Conscience

Series B – Seventh Sunday of Pentecost – Sunday, July 11, 2021 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:28the holy gospel according to saint mark
0:30the sixth chapter
0:39king herod heard of it for Jesus’s name
0:41had become known
0:42some said john the baptist has been
0:44raised from the dead that is why these
0:46miraculous powers are at work in him
0:48others said he is elijah another said
0:51he’s a prophet like one of the prophets
0:52of old
0:53but when herod heard of it he said john
0:55whom i beheaded has been raised
0:57for it was herod who had sent and seized
0:59john bound him in prison
1:01for the sake of herodias his brother
1:03philip’s wife because he had married her
1:05for john had been saying to herod it’s
1:07not lawful for you to have your
1:08brother’s wife
1:09and herodias had a grudge against him
1:11and wanted to put him to death
1:13but she could not for herod feared john
1:15knowing that he was a righteous and a
1:17holy man
1:18and he kept him safe when he had heard
1:20him he was greatly
1:21perplexed and yet he heard him gladly
1:24but an opportunity came when herod on
1:26his birthday gave a banquet for his
1:28and military commanders and the leading
1:30men of galilee
1:31for when herodius’s daughter came in and
1:33danced she pleased herod and his guests
1:36and the king said to the girl ask me for
1:38whatever you wish and i will give it to
1:40and he vowed to her whatever you ask me
1:42i will give you up to half of my kingdom
1:44and she went out and said to her mother
1:46for what should i ask
1:48she said the head of john the baptist
1:50and she came in immediately with haste
1:52to the king and asked saying
1:54i want you to give me at once the head
1:56of john the baptist on a platter
1:58and the king was exceedingly sorry sorry
2:01but because of his oaths and his guests
2:03he did not want to break his word to her
2:05and immediately the king sent an
2:06executioner with orders to bring john’s
2:09he went and beheaded him in the prison
2:11and brought his head on a platter
2:13and gave it to the girl and the girl
2:14gave it to her mother when his disciples
2:16heard of it they came and took his body
2:18and laid it in a tomb
2:20this is the gospel of the lord in the
2:22name of Jesus
2:24amen all right have you ever heard the
2:26phrase somebody has an
2:27evil conscience it’s a weird one um it’s
2:30kind of a
2:30one of those archaic ways of putting we
2:32say somebody has a guilty
2:34conscience you think of um macbeth lady
2:38mcbathroom and she’s
2:39washing her hands out out damn spot
2:41right you know and
2:42so she’s got an evil evil evil
2:44conscience and you’ll note that we human
2:46beings because
2:47god’s law it’s written on our hearts we
2:49know that when we’ve run afoul
2:52of god’s commandments and yet at the
2:54same time
2:55boy the the darkness the depth the
2:58magnitude of sin
3:00none of us is capable of wandering out
3:02of the darkness of sin into the light
3:04unless god well shines the light on us
3:08drags us into his kingdom you’ll note
3:10that over and again
3:12scripture talks about the fact that none
3:14can come to the father unless
3:15well the father draws him none can come
3:17to the son unless the father draws him
3:19and so here in our text today we’re
3:21going to note something
3:22and that is is that god is graciously
3:26allowing that good-for-nothing
3:30tetrarch because that’s all he really is
3:32that good for nothing tetrarch
3:34king herod now he’s not a true king in
3:36the truest sense
3:37uh israel is not a sovereign state and
3:40herod is not in
3:41control of all of israel
3:44he’s not herod the great this is uh one
3:47of his descendants
3:48and we’d learn from josephus that uh his
3:52phillip was married to this gal by the
3:55name of herodias
3:56and boy she was kind of one of these
3:58gals it was really all about
4:01well you know money and status and power
4:03and things like this she’s kind of a
4:04gold digger of sorts
4:06and so when philip is divested of some
4:10of his power
4:11she no longer is really keen on her
4:14husband and instead is
4:15a little more keen on the guy who well
4:17was invested with the power that philip
4:19was divested of and all this took place
4:21in rome they were in rome when all this
4:23happened and next thing you know she
4:25well you find her in herod’s bed
4:28and he ends up marrying her while his
4:30brother is still
4:32this is the kind of stuff that’s like
4:33daytime soap opera kind of stuff
4:35you know what i’m saying you know we we
4:37all see this like on netflix
4:40and it’s the same stuff that goes on and
4:41we should note that because you’ll note
4:44this same stuff we all do this too
4:47you know although we are not powerful or
4:50or we’re not people who have a lot of
4:54that being the case well this is the
4:56same kind of nonsense that goes on among
4:59why because each of us is born dead in
5:02trespasses and sins we still have a
5:03sinful nature
5:04and we uh how shall i put it we have
5:07this amazing ability to want to make
5:10everything about
5:11me about you it’s all about
5:14we’re so much like the devil in that
5:16capacity and then you’ll note here
5:18as we consider this that um
5:22the emperor caesar is still in charge
5:25and so this is all going to play into it
5:27so i’d like if i if i could i’d like to
5:29do a little bit of a
5:30character study kind of a weird way to
5:32put it between um
5:34this tetrarch who has delusions of
5:38that thinks he has power that he doesn’t
5:40and consider the fact that god was
5:42gracious and merciful because what was
5:43the purpose of john the baptist ministry
5:47to prepare the way of Christ to make
5:50paths straight
5:51and we can tell by the fact that herod
5:53and herodias
5:54and this dirty dancing little girl
5:56whoever she was that uh she
5:59uh that i think her name was salome
6:01that’s what josephus says her name is
6:03that uh that well god wanted them to
6:06repent as well
6:08and they got to hear the preaching of
6:10john the baptist
6:11as the precursor of Christ so the story
6:13goes like this king herod
6:15heard of Jesus Jesus name had become
6:19and some said john the baptist has been
6:21raised from the dead i always like to
6:22point this out since
6:23when did jews become reincarnationists
6:26is bizarre here they cannot deny what
6:30Jesus is doing
6:31Jesus is healing the sick he’s cleansing
6:34lepers he’s forgiving sins he’s giving
6:38the ability for those who are paralytics
6:40to walk
6:41and you’ll see later in the gospel of
6:43mark that he’s even going to raise
6:44people from the dead he’s freeing people
6:46from demons casting them out
6:48and in all of the history of israel and
6:51all of
6:51from moses all the way through all the
6:53prophets no one has done
6:55more miraculous signs than Christ
6:58the next person under him would be like
7:00moses but
7:02that being said everybody knows that
7:04something is a foot
7:06and they’re trying to put two and two
7:08together and here’s the depth and the
7:09magnitude of sin
7:11despite the fact that the uh the answer
7:13is obvious
7:14they still can’t see it
7:17the answer is obvious Jesus is the
7:19promised messiah he’s the one
7:21moses prophesied about he’s the one all
7:23the prophets told us was coming
7:25he’s here now john the baptist he’s the
7:28one who prepared the way
7:29and they’re scratching their head going
7:31well maybe reincarnation’s a thing
7:34no reincarnation is not a thing
7:38he is not he’s not elijah
7:41he’s not john the baptist raised from
7:43the dead
7:45well the people who were saying well
7:46he’s a prophet they’re a little bit
7:48closer just
7:50just a little bit closer think of it
7:51this way you ever play that game with
7:53your kids or
7:53you had this game played with you when
7:55you were a kid your parent one of your
7:56parents hid something and
7:58you had to go hunting for it and they’d
8:00say oh you’re cold oh you’re freezing oh
8:02man it’s a blizzard in here and then you
8:04turn direction they go
8:05getting warmer get more oh you’re
8:07burning up it’s hot lava right
8:09see the folks who are sitting well maybe
8:11he’s a prophet at least they’re
8:13warm all right but they still can’t put
8:15it together and that’s the thing
8:17remember that in the gospel of matthew
8:21Jesus asks his disciples who do people
8:24say that i am we got these same
8:26responses Jesus turns it right down to
8:29them and says who do you say that i am
8:31of course peter says you’re the Christ
8:33the son of the living god and what does
8:35Jesus say
8:36blessed are you simon barjona for flesh
8:38and blood has not revealed this to you
8:40but my father who is in heaven and so
8:43here you have all these people
8:44scratching their heads going what what’s
8:46going on here
8:48and what what’s missing they’re not
8:50reading and understanding the biblical
8:52text they’re not
8:53hearing the word of god otherwise the
8:55answer is obvious
8:56and we all all of us can talk about all
8:59the different ways
9:00we’ve lived our lives in darkness and in
9:04and because we do not recognize the
9:06centrality of who Christ is and what
9:08he’s done for us
9:09we’ve even read the bible and twisted it
9:12up and misunderstood it and missed the
9:14obvious that was going on there we’re
9:16all guilty of this
9:17so herod heard this john whom i beheaded
9:22has been raised from the dead out out
9:24damn spot
9:26right that’s what’s going on here
9:29now on the one hand we can say ah this
9:32is good that he’s
9:33feeling guilt for his sin but there’s no
9:37of him coming to Christ
9:40and being absolved of the sin john the
9:43baptist prepared the way
9:45and see we learn more of the story if it
9:48was herod who had sent
9:50and seized john bound him in prison for
9:53the sake of herodias his brother
9:55philip’s wife
9:56because he had married her john had been
9:59to herod it’s not lawful for you to have
10:02your brother’s wife
10:04now was john a respecter of persons no
10:07not at all
10:08in fact everybody who came to hear john
10:11oh boy yeah they were told in no
10:14uncertain terms that they needed to what
10:16repent they need to make their paths
10:18straight they
10:20the one who was coming after him was
10:21greater than he and so
10:23john he he preached the law just
10:26with all of its ferocity
10:29and nobody was left out in that
10:31preaching not
10:33even herod and so you can see john
10:36we don’t know the occasion but the text
10:38actually says john had been saying to
10:41and the implication here is is that he
10:44may have said this on more than one
10:46you know there’s maybe uh herod
10:49in herodias out amongst the the the
10:52unwashed masses of probably being
10:54carried on a litter or something right
10:56you know living in luxury and there’s
10:58john spits a grasshopper leg out on the
11:01ground says it’s not right for you to
11:02have your brother’s wife
11:04you need to repent the one coming after
11:07me is going to
11:07throw you into the fires of hell right
11:10and and and herod hears this
11:14herod hears this and he’s kind of
11:15perplexed by it and herodias goes
11:18is that man saying i’m a sinner yes
11:22have you ever talked have you ever had
11:24that kind like that awkward moment like
11:26you’re telling somebody about your
11:27Christian faith and what Jesus
11:29has done and the light goes on and
11:31somebody says are you saying i’m a
11:34yeah yeah you’re getting it the light’s
11:37going on good for you
11:39okay that’s the purpose of the law by
11:41the way the law was given to
11:43show us that we’re sinners and to end it
11:46well shut us up
11:47also that’s what romans 3 says so you’re
11:50you’re making progress here but no
11:53this is important we cannot understand
11:56and appreciate or even believe the
11:59until we first recognize uh oh
12:03we are subject to the wrath of god
12:06for sins that we’ve committed that we’re
12:10good people let’s get that out of our
12:12heads all right
12:13always and again it just annoys me when
12:15someone says well you know i’m a good
12:17i pay my taxes you know i even
12:20gave money to the rotary club last year
12:22when they were sending people around
12:24really okay and i’ve never been to
12:26prison yeah like that’s the
12:27that’s the proof that you’re a good
12:28person okay there’s a lot of people who
12:31should be in prison who’ve never been
12:33okay let’s just be blunt about that but
12:36all of that being said scripture is
12:37clear none
12:38is righteous not you not me not herod
12:41not herodius and not there
12:43not her daughter so herodias now
12:46bears a grudge all right because john
12:49had been saying
12:50you it’s not lawful for you to have your
12:52brother’s wife so she bore a grudge
12:54against him and wanted to put him to
12:56death ah let’s see we’re going to use
12:58the power that we’ve been given the
13:00authority that we’ve been given by
13:02in order to murder people is that what
13:05the state exists
13:07to do do any people have the right
13:10whether they are elected officials or
13:12appointed officials
13:14to break the commandment thou shalt not
13:18none none in fact god’s word is clear
13:22that in order for somebody to experience
13:24capital punishment
13:25there has to actually be a real trial
13:28there has to be
13:29charges they have to be established and
13:31a capital crime
13:32has to be proven to have been committed
13:36what’s his capital crime well he
13:38offended me
13:39he hurt my feelings right is anything
13:42different today
13:44no and you’re gonna note you’re to note
13:48Christians are starting to feel the heat
13:49a little bit you say some things on
13:52oh guess what happens to you your
13:54twitter account disappears
13:56same thing on facebook i was informed by
13:58facebook like a week ago
14:00that i may have been subjected to well
14:03hate speech you know i had no idea
14:08is it was it you bruce okay
14:11all right but uh i want you to know that
14:13facebook gave me the opportunity to turn
14:15you in
14:16and i declined
14:20but i was surprised i logged into
14:22facebook you may have been exposed
14:24you know and we have people that can
14:26counsel you and help you here
14:28all right let’s make this clear when god
14:31says you’re a sinner and
14:34be damned to hell that’s not hate speech
14:37that’s the verdict of the judge of the
14:39earth and it doesn’t matter if you like
14:42or if it feel good it’s not meant to
14:44make you feel good
14:46it’s meant to wake you up and to make
14:49you say
14:50holy smokes i’m in deep trouble here
14:54because you are and so am i
14:58coming to grips with the fact that we
14:59are sinners is not something that’s
15:01going to make you feel like rainbows
15:02lollipops and unicorns
15:05it’s going to make you feel like well
15:07the noose is around your neck and the
15:09fires of hell have been kindled under
15:11your feet
15:14because they have
15:17but the story never ends there
15:21because Christ is on the scene here
15:24Jesus is performing miracles the murmurs
15:27are out
15:27aslan’s afoot you kind of get the idea
15:32all right so herodias borma grudge
15:35she couldn’t do anything because herod
15:37feared john
15:38knowing that he was a righteous and a
15:40holy man he kept him safe
15:42and when he heard him he was greatly
15:44perplexed and yet he heard him gladly
15:46i’d like to point this out to the
15:48calvinist yes god’s grace is resistable
15:52okay because there’s there’s herod
15:55hearing the words of john the baptist
15:59and he’s going i’m i love what i’m
16:02hearing here and i’m perplexed about it
16:04yet i’m not gonna repent okay
16:09resistable indeed all right
16:12so persisting in his sin herodias now
16:16well nursing a murderous grudge have you
16:19ever noticed how murder and adultery go
16:22it’s like they’re twins or something all
16:24right you know my wife watches that csi
16:26stuff every time i come downstairs and
16:28she’s got her ipad open and she’s
16:29cooking and she’s got csi on it’s like
16:31yo you always hear about some poor
16:33fellow you know whose body was found two
16:35states over
16:36the first person they want to talk to
16:38when that happens is you talk to the
16:40living spouse
16:41okay always a person of interest i
16:43wonder why
16:44okay murder and adultery just always
16:47seem to go together
16:48so here’s what happens on herod’s
16:51birthday he gave a banquet
16:52for his nobles and military commanders
16:55and the leading men of galilee
16:57oh let’s have a birthday that y’all can
16:58celebrate how important i am
17:00right and look at the complete vanity of
17:03this buffoon
17:04so when herodius’s daughter came in and
17:06danced and by the way when you read the
17:08church fathers on this
17:09they are not keen on this particular
17:11dance because they know how the culture
17:14back in the day it was absolutely
17:16scandalous that somebody who is a
17:19of well royalty a tetrarch a
17:23king a governor that’s the high class
17:25here that’s
17:26at the top of the pyramid type of stuff
17:29that she would dance puts her down
17:32down down down down among the scandalous
17:35women and the uh
17:36the unwashed masses and so here this
17:39would been scandalous on its face
17:41and the church fathers revealed that to
17:43us so we can kind of translate it this
17:45she did some dirty dancing right
17:48because that’s what’s going on here this
17:51and of course all the guys loved it yeah
17:55that do that again right that’s what’s
17:58going on and herod was so pleased by it
18:01never listening to the word of god right
18:05the king said to the girl ask me for
18:07whatever you wish and i will give it to
18:09and he vowed to her whatever you ask me
18:11i will give you up to half of my kingdom
18:13wait a second here um he’s a tetrarch
18:17do you think he could give away
18:20anything regarding no no so what’s he
18:24doing he’s putting on
18:25errors this is just complete straight
18:27out narcissistic
18:28delusion you think you think that
18:31caesar’s gonna go okay yeah sure she can
18:34have half the
18:35you know half of your no that’s not
18:36gonna work it just isn’t so he’s making
18:39promises he can’t keep
18:41and vows that he’s not able to fulfill
18:45because what does he want he wants his
18:47guests to think how important how
18:49amazing how magnanimous he is and no
18:52he’s none of the above
18:54so whatever you ask me i’ll give up to
18:56half of my kingdom so she went out
18:58and said to her mother you could just
18:59see her just going mumzy what should i
19:02get what should i do
19:03right uh-huh
19:08and of course she says i want the head
19:09of john the baptist at once on a platter
19:12and so she goes running in and what does
19:15she do
19:17she says i want the head of john the
19:19baptist and the text
19:20immediately says the king then was
19:23exceedingly sorry
19:25but because of his oaths and his guests
19:28he did not want to break his word to her
19:31well he’s not willing to break his word
19:32but he’s willing to break god’s word
19:34what he should have said to that girl
19:39the commandment says thou shall not
19:43and no tetrarch has the authority to
19:46a life of another human being without
19:49due process
19:52but does he listen to the word of god no
19:54he decides that he didn’t want to break
19:56his word and always isn’t that the
19:58problem we idolaters
20:00it’s all about what we believe what we
20:02think what we think is important and we
20:04don’t want to have to lose face
20:06because it’s about our words over god’s
20:10and immediately then the king sent an
20:12executioner with orders to bring john’s
20:14he went and beheaded him in the prison
20:16and brought his head on a platter
20:18gave it to the girl and the girl gave it
20:20to her mother when his disciples heard
20:22of it they came and took his body
20:23laid it in a tomb terrible end right
20:27but you’ll note that john the baptist
20:29kept his integrity
20:31he went to his grave a righteous and a
20:33holy man
20:35believing and preaching the truth
20:37proclaiming Christ
20:39pointing the way to him and god in his
20:41mercy allowed
20:42for herod and herodias and that girl
20:45to hear the preaching of john the
20:48baptist but rather than repent rather
20:50than be baptized rather than be prepared
20:52for the one who was coming
20:54by persisting in sin and unbelief and
20:56resisting god’s grace
20:58they were ill-prepared for the return of
21:00Christ and so herod unlike john
21:03sadly is going to go to his grave with
21:06that evil conscience
21:08and you’ll know that’s kind of the
21:10difference isn’t it the one who bled and
21:12died for him
21:13and the fact that Jesus was on the scene
21:16didn’t comfort
21:18herod it terrified him
21:21and each and every one of us we know the
21:23terror of that sin
21:24of our own sin we know the terror of
21:26standing before Christ
21:28and see that’s the thing we talk about
21:30king Jesus
21:31king Jesus well you can kind of take
21:33that two different ways
21:34if you are an impenitent sinner king
21:36Jesus is a figure that scares you
21:40but for us who are in Christ and note
21:42this we have nothing to boast
21:44about nothing it is god who has revealed
21:46to us that Jesus is the Christ
21:48it is god who has brought us to the
21:50waters of baptism and washed away our
21:52it is god who pronounced today that we
21:54were forgiven
21:55it is god who is here feeding us with
21:57his word and is the
21:59father who has revealed to us that Jesus
22:01is the Christ the son of the living god
22:03and because of that each and every one
22:06of us who has an evil conscience because
22:08of our own sin
22:10we do not need to cower or to fear we do
22:13not have to worry
22:14regarding Jesus and Jesus isn’t like
22:16herod at all
22:17because herod who liked to think of
22:19himself as some powerful magnanimous and
22:21mighty and gracious king
22:23he was far from it Jesus actually is all
22:25of that
22:26in fact he’s the king of kings and he is
22:28the lord of lords
22:29and even caesar in the time of Jesus’s
22:32earthly ministry
22:33was in power because Jesus said so
22:38and so that being the case consider then
22:40the words of our
22:41epistle text and these are words that
22:43then are to comfort us
22:45because each and every one of us we’ve
22:47sinned mightily against god
22:49it says in our epistle text that god has
22:53predestined us
22:54in love you see here’s the thing
22:58despite our sin god has never given up
23:01on us not because we are
23:03we’re worth anything we’re not but
23:05because of his
23:06great love for us in love he pretended
23:10retesting each and every one of us to be
23:13as sons through Jesus Christ
23:17according to the purpose of his will and
23:19he has done this to the praise of his
23:21glorious grace not ours
23:23and he has blessed us in the beloved in
23:27Jesus Christ and then listen to these
23:29words in Christ
23:31we have redemption through his blood and
23:34we have received the forgiveness of all
23:36of our trespasses
23:38according to the riches of his grace
23:41what an amazing thing to be spoken
23:45to such miserable sinners like you and
23:46like me that we have been adopted
23:49into the family of god forgiven pardoned
23:53all of our trespasses blotted out by the
23:57love and the riches of god’s grace and
24:00he has lavished this upon us in all
24:02wisdom and
24:03insight and he is making known to us the
24:06mystery then of his will
24:08the mystery that was set forth in Christ
24:11which will be fulfilled in its proper
24:14and then listen to these words in verse
24:1511 in Christ we have obtained
24:18an inheritance and here’s where i’d like
24:20to point something out that
24:22is often missed but one that is worth
24:24pointing out
24:25and that is is that herod didn’t have
24:27the ability to give his step-daughter
24:30half of his kingdom and you’re going to
24:33note this
24:34that Christ has promised each and every
24:36one of us an inheritance in his kingdom
24:39in fact Christ has willed for us
24:42and makes it very clear that he is
24:46promising and he will fulfill his
24:48promise that he is giving the kingdom
24:51to us to you and to me
24:55how this is possible is unbelievable
24:59but the reality is this god’s grace his
25:02mercy his forgiveness is that good
25:04that rebel sinners like you and i who
25:07were born
25:08hating Christ and god steeped in
25:11trespasses and sins
25:13under the dominion of darkness and
25:14willingly doing the will of the devil
25:17that god has forgiven and pardoned us
25:20and not only has he pardoned us he’s
25:23adopted us
25:24into his family and given us the whole
25:27as an inheritance
25:30it’s mind-boggling but it doesn’t speak
25:34to how great we are because we’re not
25:36it speaks to how great Christ is
25:39and what a tragedy it is an utter
25:43that herod herodius and her daughter
25:47heard the preaching of john the baptist
25:50and yet went to the grave with an evil
25:55know this you do not have to have an
25:57evil conscience though your sins be as
25:59scarlet Christ’s his blood
26:01washes away all of them and you are made
26:04clean white as snow because of him so
26:07know then that Christ isn’t like herod
26:10or even caesar he is a loving kind and
26:13gracious merciful forgiving king
26:16and he can forgive even murder and
26:19because he bled and died for all of it
26:21on the cross
26:22so let us repent of all of our stupid
26:26vain chasing after our own glory kind of
26:29selves and all the scheming and nonsense
26:31that we engage in
26:32in order to well make us the center of
26:35the universe
26:36let us retire from being little deities
26:40and let us again renounce the works of
26:43the devil
26:44that are exemplified in the passions of
26:46our sinful flesh
26:48and let us worship at the feet of king
26:51the one who so graciously and mercifully
26:53forgives us of all of our sins
26:55and in his love has lavished on us the
26:58inheritance of the kingdom that is to
27:01in the name of Jesus amen
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